We have heard and read a lot about Harley Davidson developing a small capacity 338cc motorcycle for global markets. And this was confirmed in a recent patent filing for the ‘338R’ name by Harley Davidson in the USA. In a new development, a mystery 500cc motorcycle with Harley Davidson badges was spied doing tests on a dynamometer. It indicates that this will be the first motorcycle developed by Harley Davidson in partnership with Chinese two-wheeler major Qianjiang, the parent company of Benelli.
Harley-Davidson 500 looks quite unique
The new 500cc Harley Davidson motorcycle spied on a dynamometer gets a host of design cues from bigger motorcycles like Sportster S, Fat Bob and Pan America. The overall stance and dimensions look strikingly similar to the now-defunct Street 500. The motorcycle spied is painted in a shade of grey, with an orange-coloured Harley Davidson logo on the fuel tank.
This new 500cc motorcycle from Harley Davidson has a rounded headlamp with a silver bezel and a single-pod instrument console above it, much like those in Street 500. However, the rounded rearview mirrors and rounded amber turn indicators look new. Compared to the Street 750, the fuel tank looks bigger, and the seating posture looks upright with a higher-set handlebar.
There are no proper side body panels in the motorcycle, with the rear having a chopped-style fender, much like that in the Fat Bob. And like in the Fat Bob, the turn indicators, which are expected to have the dual functionality of tail lamps, are mounted on the sides of the rear fender. There is a tyre hugger above the rear wheel, which houses the license plate.
Engine shared with Benelli Leoncino 500
Since this new Harley Davidson 500cc motorcycle is developed with Qianjiang, a lot of component sharing is expected to take place. The overall stance and size look similar to Benelli Leoncino 500, which means that the new motorcycle will have its upside-down front forks, rear mono-shock, frame and brakes (dual discs at the front and a single disc at the rear) shared with the Benelli Leoncino 500. It is expected to share the liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, 500cc engine with the Leoncino 500, which produces 47 bhp of maximum power and 46 Nm of maximum torque in the Leoncino 500.
Now that the Street 500 and Street 750 are out of the picture, this new 500cc motorcycle from Harley Davidson will sit between the Iron 883 and the new upcoming 338R in the American bike maker’s lineup. Expect the new 500cc motorcycle to come to the Indian shores in 2023, though given that Harley Davidson’s manufacturing plant in Haryana is no longer operating, it might come through the CKD route.